webofdeception.com is a bizarre, timecubesque linkdump maintained and updated by private investigator and domain squatter Joseph Culligan. In addition to sleazy dirt-digging on various celebrities and politicians, Culligan also includes a huge resource list of links to databases and public-record searches. [more inside]
Drive-through trees, Olvera Street, Knott's Berry Farm, and lots of other images and postcards of California at Image Archaeology.
Today is June 28th, June 15th on the Julian Calendar, and it holds a great historical significance to Serbia. [more inside]
Avebury. A short, trippy 8mm film shot around the Neolithic stone circles and henge at Avebury, Wiltshire. [Via BB]
Pete Seeger and Majora Carter sit down together and bridge the generational gap with a discussion on environmentalism, activism, history, and music. [more inside]
Every issue of The Times published between 1785-1985, digitally scanned and fully searchable. (Via Wordorigins.org.)
"Cultures at the far edge of the world" (YT) and "The worldwide web of belief and ritual" (YT). Two TED talks by anthropologist and explorer Wade Davis (previously) on the diversity of the world's indigenous cultures and their beliefs, and the richness of the "Ethnosphere," which he describes as "the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, intuitions brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness." [Via Mind Hacks]
The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were the first to wed in California -- again. Martin and Lyon are best known for founding the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian rights organization in the U.S. Congratulations, Del and Phyllis!
Farming with Dynamite Do stumps, clay or tired old soil have you down? Let "Red Cross" dynamite come to your rescue. (A blast from the past via ) [more inside]
Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour of Rome is a rich and innovative geographic database that projects Vasi's 18th century engravings of Roman architecture onto the contemporary map of Giambattista Nolli [previously] with supplementary modern satellite, photographic and mapping overlays together with copious background detail. The work was undertaken by researchers at the University of Oregon (announcement) [via]
With flagrant disregard for their waistlines and their own gustatory limitations, Giles Coren and Sue Perkins (known as The Supersizers) have been going back in time to the diets of their ancestors for the (education?) amusement of the general public (well, people who watch BBC Two). Restoration | Edwardian | Victorian | Wartime | Seventies [more inside]
The Meaning of Box 722. Letters to Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois in reaction to the 1966 civil rights bill, particularly the federal ban on racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing. At the time, Chicago was the most segregated city in the north, with boundaries enforced by mob violence. By Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland. When I started researching NIXONLAND I knew the congressional elections of 1966 would form a crucial part of the narrative. They'd never really been examined in-depth before, but by my reckoning they were the crucial hinge that formed the ideological alignment we live in now. Via Brad DeLong.
Vanity Fair has a typically excellent article out -- "How the Web Was Won," an oral history of the Web. Even if you're familiar with ARPANet, Metcalfe's Law, Pearl Harbor Day, the VC rush, whatever -- the story told by the often-animated people at the center of the whirlwind is an enlightening and entertaining experience. And for those of you don't know the history of the Internet, learn it! This is part of your heritage now. [more inside]
It's official. Obama has won the Democratic Party nomination for the US Presidency. In response, McCain has launched a "verbal sortie" against him and the media has already begun disecting Hillary's campaign.
The Speculum theologiae is a beautiful medieval manuscript. Its diagrams demonstrate visually various aspects of the medieval worldview. The diagrams are explained and translated and most of them are expounded upon in a short essay. My favorite diagrams are The Cherub with Six Wings, The 10 Commandments, Plagues of Egypt and Abuses of the Impious and The Tree of Virtue and The Tree of Vices.
"Schools should continue to require library research so they can see how old folks used to Google stuff."
The continuity I have in mind has to do with the nature of information itself or, to put it differently, the inherent instability of texts. In place of the long-term view of technological transformations, which underlies the common notion that we have just entered a new era, the information age, I want to argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that information has always been unstable. Let's begin with the Internet and work backward in time.The Library in the New Age by Robert Darnton, historian and Director of the Harvard Library. A wide-ranging overview of the status of libraries in the modern world, touching on such subjects as: journalist poker games, French people liking the smell of books, bibliography at Google, news dissemination in the 18th Century, book piracy and the different texts of Shakespeare. Some responses: Defending the Library of Google, The Future in the Past and Librarians Need a Better Apologetic.
When King James VII of Scotland died in 1700, Louis XIV of France gave his word and his support to the cause of his son, James VIII, or the "pretender" as he was known to his enemies. One of history's most famous lost causes, the story contains smaller tragedies, like the downfall of the Radclyffe family of Cumbria. An almost embarrassingly romantic tale, it includes a "murdered" (actually executed) Earl (sound), a haunting (and some say haunted ruin), an "incorruptible" corpse, a daring prison escape and, according to at least one novelist, a possible American connection. [more inside]
Leave the planet to travel into the largest structures of the universe, then plunge into the tiniest. Forty two orders of magnitude in thirty six minutes.... Cosmic Voyage. (single link Google video via) [more inside]
State of decay :"Over the years, Boston artist Rosamond Purcell has photographed goliath beetles and translucent bats culled from the backrooms of natural history museums; a collection of teeth pulled by Peter the Great; moles flayed by naturalist Willem Cornelis van Heurn; and scores of worn and weathered objects, like termite-eaten books and fish skeletons."
History is a Weapon -- Featuring Propaganda by the inventor of modern PR, Edward Bernays, essays by Bill Clinton, Eugene Debs, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Mark Twain, the entirety of A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and much, much more.
RelationshipFilter, 1873. An online archive of letters from a wife to her husband, which include an intimate look at their relationship crisis. [more inside]
The opening shots of 1920s New York City are wonderful, then you get a zany high-speed Harold Lloyd blazing down the avenues, and that's fun to watch, but the real killer is the horse-drawn trolley absolutely tearing-ass through lower Manhattan, full gallop. Ends badly. Then it's over to San Francisco for one last bit of homicidal vehicular activity with a bus. Well, they sure don't drive like they used to! [more inside]
Memorial Day it seems is getting a bad name in recent years. But as the politicos run around like crazies, we mustn't forget the little things about the holiday, its history and what it stands for, and even its more traditional customs like grilling, and of course flag etiquette.
They are members of the olive family, among the earliest flowering plants imported to the United States. Planted near the front doors of flat, bare early Colonial house facades, they helped to create "dooryard gardens," which softened and brought beauty to a rough-hewn early America. Jefferson planted them; at Monticello, some of those bushes still bloom.. They gave Pan his pipes. They are employed as evocative symbols in American literature, song, and poetry, where they symbolize the sensuousness of love in its earliest stages. Festivals celebrate their blooming, and NOAA tracks the earliest leaves and flowers for evidence of climate change. The inability to smell it may be an early indication of Alzheimer's disease. No wonder people like to steal them.
HistoryWorld is a general-knowledge website, designed for anyone above the age of about twelve with an interest in history. I found the site searching for dance history, but it includes 400 broad topics with more added all the time. It approaches history as a narrative, making full use of chronology. This is for the student as well as the researcher. [more inside]
The Willa Cather Archive is an incredible resource provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, including biographies, letters, photos, and even full (often annotated) text of much of her writing, including scholarly editions of two of her greatest (and most famous) works, My Antonia and O Pioneers. About the archive.
The [US] National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 21st annual list of the nation's Most Endangered Historic Places. Among them: Sumner Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, (where Linda Brown tried to register for school, resulting in Brown vs. Board of Education); New York City's Lower East Side; California's State Parks; Philadelphia's Boyd Theatre, and several others. The previous 20 years of Most Endangered Historic Places can be found in the Archive. [more inside]
Reportret: What did they really look like? Charlemagne "..was a large man, with light coloured hair, a long nose, a thick neck, and a quite prominent belly."
It stands as one of the more unusual turning points of the Cold War, thanks mostly to the surprise appearance of several naked middle-aged women. Taking The Cure: How a group of British Columbian anarchists inspired democracy in Russia. [more inside]
Phil Schaap has hosted a jazz program for the past twenty-seven years on WKCR, Columbia University’s radio station with unapologetic passion and a depth of familiarity that comes, in part, from the personal relationships he had with the musicians themselves.
Animal Rights History collects quotes and original source documents from historical figures concerned with animal welfare, animal rights and vegetarianism throughout history, including John Locke on kids' cruelty to animals, Voltaire on vivisecting dogs, the author of history's first protected species list, lots about Pythagoras, timelines, a survey of anti-cruelty laws and more.
The History of Computing Project is a collaborative effort to record and publish the history of the computer and its roots. The site includes a chronological timeline, biographies of computing pioneers, a look at computing hardware through the years, as well as software and games. [more inside]
"King Cotton" created a huge demand for land and (slave) labor that changed early America's borders, population, and economics. But just as cotton affected history, history affected cotton: the story of naturally colored cottons -- brown, green, yellow, mauve, and reddish cottons -- has almost been lost. [more inside]
1968: Lessons Learned. Dissent Magazine examines the transcontinental legacy of one of the most tumultuous years in world history. Essays from Marshall Berman, Robin Blackburn, Mitchell Cohen, Ralf Fuecks, Vivian Gornick, Michael Kazin, Enrique Krauze, Lillian B. Rubin, Christine Stansell and Michael Walzer.
Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films (official site w/Flash) Filmmaker Arthur Dong covers the good (YT), the bad and the players (link to Flash video clips) in his latest award-winning documentary. Related MeFi post.
In the Matter of Daniel Smoote v. Frank & Jesse James As bank robberies go, the 1869 heist pulled off by legendary outlaws Jesse and Frank James in Daviess County, Mo., wasn’t much of a success: They may have left with no money, they probably shot the wrong man, and Jesse James lost his horse. Perhaps even more frustrating for the outlaw duo, they ended up getting sued by a local farmer and his ambitious young lawyer—the first and only successful civil action against the former Confederate guerrillas-turned-outlaws. [more inside]
The Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence is a scholarly database of case studies focusing on massacres and genocides of the 20th century, both transnational and national. It also includes theoretical papers. [more inside]
New Jersey high school student Matthew LaClair has been at the center of controversy before, challenging his U.S. History teacher for proselytizing in class. He's in the news again, bringing attention to conservative bias in his American history textbook. [more inside]
To Catch A Thief. How a Civil War buff's chance discovery led to a sting, a raid and a victory against traffickers in stolen historical documents. Related article: Pay Dirt in Montana. And photo gallery.
Whole Lotta Shakin' - a PRI documentary series on the history of rockabilly, hosted by Rosie Flores.
With the grounds it was built on having hosted the first demonstration of airplane flight in 1909, Tempelhof International Airport, the world's second-oldest working commercial airport, was officially opened in 1923. Also known as City Airport, it takes its official name from the Tempelhof neighborhood of Berlin, itself named for the Knights Templar who owned its land in the Middle Ages. [more inside]
The Lighthouse Directory. An information portal for over 9000 lighthouses, and sites of former lighthouses, all around the world. Photos, histories, technical specifications, etc. Most of the links are very thorough, with some including excerpts from keepers' logs. The site also includes links to current news stories and general historical articles related to lighthouses.